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Tens of Thousands Flee for Safety as Dam Bursts in Puerto Rico


Tens of Thousands Flee for Safety as Dam Bursts in Puerto Rico

Common Dreams staff

A dam burst in Puerto Rico on Saturday has sent tens of thousands of people fleeing the rushing waters enveloped downstream communities.

Fears had grown overnight and evacuations had begun, but footage showed the dam, located in northwest city of Guajataca, finally giving way Saturday morning:

We just received new video of the dam failure coming out of Lake Guajataca, PR. #PuertoRico pic.twitter.com/LMdXzKEca4


This is just natures way of saying we can’t drive those gas guzzling SUVs in four feet of water. Daming the natural forces of nature probably isn’t a good idea either. A hard lesson for Puerto Rico who probably did little to contribute to this, but someone did.


Professor Cole as always tells it like it is!

“When you vote for denialist politicians, you are selecting people who make policy. The policy they make will be clueless and will actively endanger the public. Climate change is real. We are causing it by our emissions. If you don’t believe that, you are not a responsible steward of our infrastructure and of our lives.” – Juan Cole



I think it is no longer simply “climate change” now, but “climate collapse”. We need to move together; we need to act.


Never mind the causes of the dam break for now. I’m asking where is the army? When Irene decimated our region in 2011 the national guard was here in less than 48 hours with water and help with food and clean up. Why is the army not in Puerto Rico? If they are, good. If not, why? Either way, how come we aren’t we hearing about what our government is doing in these national emergencies to “promote the general welfare”?


Indeed. Where is the support? Water, food, shelter, and communications.

I guess we’re too busy building new nuclear submarines at $3 billion a pop and prepping for Trump’s provocations.


The videos are showing the spillway overflowing , not the dam proper. It is expected that the earthen part of the dam may erode and crack and this is what would be considered failure of the dam, as stated in the title of the article.
So in short the title is wrong. The dam has NOT collapsed, yet.


Why do “Denialist Politicians” deny what they do?

Because they are paid huge sums of money to.

At some point in the future, this must be made illegal.

As long as the parties of the Duopoly exist, and voters who have no conscience about who they vote for continue to vote for politicians who are influenced by money, and what those politicians do once they achieve office, this country will continue to go down the drain.


The statement above also applies to those who don’t vote for an alternative, even a flawed alternative.


It would seem that a double standard is at work here (think Flint) (think Standing Rock).


Our southern neighbors, Mexico, Puerto Rico and other islands devastated by Maria, need our help and the help of America’s government. Will the Republicans whine about overspending if we send help and our own money? My heart goes out to those people and I hope that all were able to flee the dam-flood with no loss of life, and are not damaged by that Mexico earthquake.

"If you deny climate change, you will not anticipate…" This statement should drive us all to sweep aside the deniers and demand that climate change be taken seriously. And immediately. But I suspect that until Washington, DC, with a full congressional complement experiences devastation beyond the political, congress will continue to deny climate change and support politicians who deny it.

What kind of madness has led us to such a turn?


But the article narrative does not state that the dam has broken yet (just the headline) but is on the verge. That, at least, gives people time to flee to safety.


uh, that’s exactly what i said in my comment . It is the title that is incorrect.



So you did say that. Apologies, I read too fast.


The greatest responsibility for the dam disaster and most of what else goes wrong in Puerto Rico is that the IMF and the Wall St. bond industry use Puerto Rico as a reverse ATM, sucking the wealth and health from the tiny Island nation.

Puerto Rico has ben staving off legal bankruptcy for some time and was ready to officially declare it just before Irma/Maria. Now, the disaster capitalists will really up the ante and tighten the screws so that Puerto Rico will soon economically resemble Haiti, the poorest nation in the hemisphere.

And Haiti didn’t become that way because of accidents of nature. The brutal rape of these nations has been supported by raw military power and mass murder for centuries. In Puerto Rico, it has been the Spanish and the U.S. In Haiti it was the French and now the U.S.

The misery of imperial occupations and mass murder far outstrips natural disasters and makes them worse. Or let’s get closer to home and see how the Harvey recover affects the poor and working classes (primarily non-white). It’s all pretty transparent now.


With respect, this has little to do with “the Republicans” and everything to do with the U.S. oligarchy and their paid-for functionaries in the U.S. Congress and government.


But only the Republicans wish to destroy government, claiming we spend too much on programs to benefit Americans, particularly the poor and non-whites. It has long been a plank in their platform: “Cut government spending.”

If your point is that America is an oligarchy that is ruinous to us all, I agree. But my point was that this Republican government will, no doubt, be tight-fisted with aid money for citizens south of us.


While I don’t disagree that cultural and political influence has a significant role it is divisive to think one is not related to the other. Foolish to discount what you don’t understand or worse think you know better. It is only an accident to the uniformed.

“The most significant consequence of this myriad of complex and interconnected environmental disruptions is that they tend to fragment the riverine ecosystem, isolating populations of species living up and downstream of the dam and cutting off migrations and other species movements. Because almost all dams reduce normal flooding, they also fragment ecosystems by isolating the river from its floodplain, turning what fish biologists term a ‘floodplain river’ into a ‘reservoir river’. The elimination of the benefits provided by natural flooding may be the single most ecologically damaging impact of a dam. This fragmentation of river ecosystems has undoubtedly resulted in a massive reduction in the number of species in the world’s watersheds.”


Where are those poor people fleeing TO? Their whole island is ruined.


As usual, it’s the poor people who pay when it comes to climate change.